Best Practices in Guerilla Marketing for VarsityBooks.com

Guerrilla Marketing Form

This is one of the documents from a whole collection of resources that were provided to me from now defunct VarsityBooks.com.  I was an on-campus marketing representative.  Read the full story of My Guerrilla Marketing Tactics On Campus To Drive Online Sales.

Best Practices in Marketing for VarsityBooks.com

  • Look into the cost and administrative process for setting up a table in your student center or in a high-traffic location on your campus. Discuss the cost with your Rep Coordinator.
  • Get a table in the student union or another high traffic area. You may have to be sponsored by an affiliate in order to do this.  If you are refused for a table, find out why and then contact your Rep Coordinator.
  • The best days fill up quickly, so book a table early. The best days are the first weekend of school or first day of classes.
  • Be ready to answer questions about VarsityBooks.com.
  • Try to have a laptop available to have the site up and running.
  • Let people know that they can contact you if they have any further questions.
  • Have lots of flyers and promotions to hand out while at your table.
  • If you are still looking for team members, look for people who seem excited about the company while at your table. Let them know you could use help promoting to other students.
  • Postering. Put posters all over campus (dorms, classroom buildings, and high-traffic areas on and off campus). Have your Team Members do this in specific areas. Remember: many people need to see our name 5 or 6 times before they go to our site and make a purchase.  Also, some academic buildings may be closed during the weekend, so you may need to poster on a weekday.  If posters are torn down, keep putting them back up.  Work with your team to decide the most efficient way to do this.
  • This is a great way to build brand awareness. We will send you all of the posters you need.  Team Members can easily be assigned to poster.
  • Please follow all postering rules on campus. DO NOT put posters on academic bulletin boards.  If your school requires you to get the posters approved, please allow extra time for the approval process.
  • Try to poster in an area where the poster will be seen by many people.
  • Keep in mind that the posters you put up yesterday may be covered up or taken down the next. Work out an effective way to re-poster everyday!
  • There are several ways to organize your postering. You can have people alternate days when they will poster.  You can divide the campus up into different sections that each person is responsible for.  You can do a combination of the two.  Think about the layout and size of your school to find out what works best.
  • Have Team Members start flyering as soon people begin trickling back to campus. Talk to parents–especially freshman parents who are hungry for information that will help their child!  Flyering should be done on a daily basis.
  • Be friendly and approachable when flyering.
  • Use catch phrases when you approach students on campus. Be proactive.  Try phrases like: “Check out VarsityBooks.com and save money on your textbooks this semester!” and “Save money on textbooks with VarsityBooks.com.”
  • Don’t be timid. Phrase things in a way so they feel they’ll be missing out if they don’t talk to you and get whatever you’re distributing. For example, don’t say: “Would you be interested in saving money on your textbooks?”  Don’t give them the chance to answer in the negative.
  • When possible engage them in a conversation. The more chances you have to explain more about the company, the better your chances that they will go to the site.
  • Hand out a premium with the flyers. People are more likely to take the flyer if they are getting something else with it.
  • Locations: Depending on the rules on your campus, consider flyering dorms, classrooms, parked cars, etc.
  • Vary your locations. If you stand in the same place each time, you hit the same people.  Move around to different sections of campus to hit as varied a group of the student body as possible.
  • Price Comparison Flyers. These are a very important part of your marketing plan. Price comparison flyers put the proof of our savings in the hands of potential customers.
  • *See Price Comparison “How To” Sheet*
  • E-mail your friends. They want to save money on their textbooks too! Tell them to pass your e-mail to their friends. This is an easy and personal way to spread the word.
  • If you can, make it a hyperlink within your email so they can just click and go right to the website.
  • Have all of your team members put a link to VarsityBooks.com as a signature on their emails that says “Save money on textbooks at VarsityBooks.com!” Or have them come up with even more clever signatures with VarsityBooks.com as it’s link.
  • Stuff Mail Slots. If possible, stuff professor, teaching assistant, resident assistant, organization, and student mailboxes with a flyer, so that it’s one of the first things they see when they get back to campus.
  • Find out if there is a fee for stuffing mailboxes. If there is a fee, please talk to your Rep Coordinator regarding the expected cost and reach.
  • Sign up Affiliates. Identify which groups you want to target and then sign those organizations up. It is crucial to “seal the deal” with these groups, so walk them through the registration process.  Follow up with them.  Make sure that they don’t have any questions or problems and verify that they did in fact sign up.
  • *SEE AFFILIATE SECTION*
  • Hand out premiums, i.e. “freebies.” Stand in high-traffic areas and handout the premiums throughout the move-in week and the first and second week of classes.
  • Hand out different set of premiums each week.
  • Move around the campus! Hand out the premiums in a few different locations on campus during high traffic times.
  • Think of creative ways to give out premiums. Make them prizes in a contest, pick winners out of a crowd and make a scene, have the first person to go to the site in a computer lab win a premium.
  • Make sure they get information with the premiums. Give them a flyer as well, or talk about the company as you give them premiums.
  • Make announcements in living groups and organizations. Announcements can be very effective ways of reaching groups of people all at once. Make sure to include lots of time for announcements when you design your marketing plan.
  • See if you can speak briefly at the beginning of student organization meetings. You can tell them about VarsityBooks.com in general and talk to them about the benefits of the Affiliate Program.
  • Make announcements at the dorm meetings and let them know of the money they could save. See if anyone has a computer you could show them the site on.  The dorm or floor could even sign up as affiliates to earn money to have a party or BBQ.
  • Class announcements. These can be very effective ways of reaching large groups of students in settings where they are receptive to hearing our message. Find the 15-25 biggest classes on campus and make sure you or one of your Team Members makes an announcement. Try to speak to the professors of these targeted classes before the class begins.  Sometimes professors don’t like to be bothered, but many will be happy for you to make a short announcement and hand out flyers.  Make sure to thank them for their time.
  • Sample Announcement. “Hi, I’m Joe Student, and I want to let you know about a new online service that can save you up to 40% off the distributor’s suggested price.  It’s called VarsityBooks.com, and you can check out the website at VarsityBooks.com.  They have a flat shipping rate of $4.95 and fast delivery in 1-3 business days.  For this class you can save $X on all of your required textbooks.”  In addition, write our web address on the board or pass out price comparison flyers.
  • The other option that has worked extremely well is to stand outside of a large lecture room with price comparison flyers in hand. Simply hand students the flyer as they enter the room, and they’ll think you’re the T.A. and desperately want whatever you’re handing out.  It works very well!
  • Check for classes that do work on the computer. See if you can show the website in front of the class on the computer and go through the book buying process.  This approach was responded to with applause for a rep last semester!
  • Chalking sidewalks and chalkboards. If your campus allows it, you can chalk heavily trafficked sidewalks with our web address. This is an easy technique that can reach the general student body. You can also try putting a note about us on chalkboards.  For example, “Save money on new textbooks at VarsityBooks.com.”
    • Make sure you check the weather forecast before spending time chalking the night before it’s supposed to rain.
    • Use the vampersand if possible in your chalking to make it recognizable.
  • Targeting Out-of-Stock Books. This is a GREAT way to boost your orders! Assign a Team Member to be responsible for putting this together.  See separate instruction sheet for step-by-step process
  • *See Targeting Out of Stock Books “How To” Sheet*

 

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